From Signal Hill to the Kamiesberg

This is a journey of understanding, from Signal Hill, in Cape Town, where the voices of our enslaved and exiled ancestors bid us well and offer protection on the journey …

… to the Kamiesberg, in Namaqualand, where our indigenous ancestors have dwelt for more than a thousand years …

… as we follow the path of an 1865 expedition to the Land of the Amacqua, led by Simon van der Stel, Commander of the Cape, under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company …

…  for these three strands – enslaved and exiled, indigenous, and European, are inextricably linked in the history of this country.

I travel in the Company of the Wandering Womb, on the first leg of a journey of return towards Angola, the home of an enslaved ancestor who birthed her children in the slave lodge in the Cape. I join the journey because I am curious about the Kamiesberg, the mountain that bears my name, and what it means in terms of a heritage denied by the Company that traded people and spices – the Dutch East India Company.

This project encompasses four parts:

  • We were Here: In the Footsteps of the Enslaved and Exiled
  • A Mountain without a Name: The Erasure of Indigenous Names on the way to the Land of the Nama
  • To the Copper Mountains: A Journal kept on the Expedition to the Land of the Amacqua
  • My Name is Kamies: Genealogy of a South African Surname

Read preliminary musings on the search for the name Kamies in an article published by Reclamation Magazine.

 

 

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Towards Freedom

The Slave Church, Cape Town (2018) The Slave Church in Long Street, Cape Town, is the oldest existing mission building